Courtesy of Agnes Burris
Chili powder and paprika serve as two ingredients in Kaveri Raina’s most recent artwork.
A native of India, Raina is set to showcase her artwork, including three sculptures and six abstract canvas paintings, in a monthlong exhibition at the Roy G Biv gallery starting Saturday. Scheduled to be on display with her are artists Agnes Burris and Andrew Plank.
“I moved (from India to Ohio) when I was 10, and it was extremely hard at that time,” Raina said. “It took me a couple of years to adjust, and what inspires me is painting as an outlet for those thoughts. I used to keep a journal for my notes, and basically the thoughts that I had at that time and family and friends helped me get through that adjustment period.”
Raina said that while attending the Maryland Institute College of Art, she began working more on large-scale paintings along with her sculptures and smaller creations. She said her work should serve as an “installation” and that it will all come together and “work with everything” for the exhibition. But her biggest goal is to keep tradition in her artwork.
“I really like to use a raw canvas instead of the plastic effect,” Raina said. “The raw canvas is used from traditional Indian paintings from the past, so I’ve been trying to keep that in my paintings as well and use a bleeding-through effect and chili powder. It’s about keeping it raw and giving it an ethnic feel.”
Burris, another artist to be featured in the exhibition, works primarily with two-dimensional paintings. She said she believes she was “born into” art and that it has always been with her.
“I really loved art classes as a child, and my parents encouraged it,” Burris said. “I would take art classes during the summer from a woman in our school, who was the art teacher. In second grade, third grade, I always just loved any type of drawing or painting or poster contest.”
Burris said some of her paintings will come from her most recent series, “Collisions,” and another series, “The Sorrows of Laboring Ships.” “Sorrows,” Burris said, was inspired by a newspaper photo of a sinking cargo ship.
“The first image that I saw was a picture in a newspaper,” Burris said. “(It was) a container ship that was sinking, and it was tipped over, and there were big containers floating around it. From the angle of the photograph, it seemed like such a pathetic, wounded creature, and there was something about that picture that really struck me and resonated with me emotionally. I really sought out images like that and worked from those images to create a series of paintings.”
In a statement on Roy G Biv Gallery’s website above two of his posted paintings, Plank mentioned that he thinks he “can make visible the gap between idea and form.”
“(The files here) create a narrative of indecision and decoration, paintings forming around or maybe even capping the ends of engagements rather than engaging in the form of any knowledge economy or narrative,” he said in a statement.
Shaylen Oswald, a first-year in exploration, said she found the artists’ topics and themes to be interesting.
“I’m not sure if I would go see it because I’m not very artistic,” Oswald said. “But I do think it’s very unique of them.”
The exhibition is free and open to the general public. Roy G Biv gallery is located at 997 N. High St. and open 3-6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 1-5 p.m. on Saturdays.